Dutch NH90 fleet near full strength

The Dutch NHIndustries NH90 helicopter fleet is getting close to full capacity after delivery of the 18th helicopter on Wednesday 2 September. Two more NH90s are to be delivered by the end of the year, completing the Dutch order for 20 helicopters placed in 2000.

The 18th helicopter was flown from NHIndustries partner AgustaWestland’s facility in Tessera, Italy, to De Kooy air station in the Netherlands, home of 860 squadron that operates the new type. Helicopters already delivered are currently retrofitted from Meaningful Operational Capable (MOC) to full Final Radar Capability (FRC). This proces is expected to finish in 2020.

The Netherlands was one of the four original NH90 partners along with Italy, France and Germany. Manufacturers from those countries joined forces in NHIndustries. The NH90 program had and still has its share of difficulties. Germany grounded the type last year and the Netherlands temporarily halted deliveries following corrosion and quality issues.

Other countries showed themselves happy with the NH90, such as Belgium and New Zealand.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

Featured image (top): The 18th NH90 at its new home.  (Image © Twitter / @commandant860sq)